Wrapping up an eventful Signing Day
Ole Miss, Alabama and UCLA will remember today fondly, while USC, Georgia and Miami will likely consider what they could have done differently.
Thanks for joining us on the SI.com live blog, and be sure to read through
8:14 p.m. -- Elite defensive tackle Vanderdoes picks Irish
The Irish accidentally let the cat out of the bag earlier in the day when they put Vanderdoes' name on a list of signed players released to the media. The elite prospect also considered UCLA, Alabama, USC and Washington. Vanderdoes is the fourth five-star prospect in Brian Kelly's 2013 class, joining running back
5:02 p.m. -- Missouri's top prospect signs with Ohio State
Elliott is the 84th-ranked recruit in this year's Rivals100. He attended John Burroughs School in St. Louis, where he rushed for more than 1,700 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns as a senior.
USC closes out 2013 cycle with a whimper
Indeed, when Kiffin made that statement, the Trojans had the nation's top class. But just over a month later, USC has fallen out of Rivals' top 10. Kiffin suffered through a rash of decommitments this week, including from five-star cornerback
USC also lost pledges from five-stars
It's worth noting that the Trojans still have a small but extremely talented class, and five-star prospects
Still, it's tough not to wonder what could have been. USC once seemed poised for a historic haul; as of 5 p.m. on Signing Day, it sits at 13th in Rivals' team rankings -- four spots behind UCLA.
4:25 p.m. -- Five-star Robinson finalizes flip from Texas to Tide
After securing Robinson's National Letter of Intent, 'Bama has now locked up five of the top 36 prospects in this year's final Rivals100.
4:15 p.m. -- Clemson lands four-star offensive guard
Crowder is the 184th-rated player in the Rivals250 and the 11th-ranked offensive guard. He was a standout at Richmond County High in Rockingham, N.C.
3:54 p.m. -- Dynamic running back Kamara commits 'Bama
As mentioned below, Kamara will join a Crimson Tide backfield brimming with talent. Kamara,
Kamara's commitment also deals another blow to Georgia, which has failed to land top in-state talent this year despite coming just yards shy of a trip to the national title game.
"Georgia is my home state and that's all great, but Alabama is where I felt more comfortable," Kamara told ESPNU after his decision.
3:04 p.m. -- Top receiver Gibson heading to West Virginia
The 6-1, 175-pound Gibson was a star at Cleveland Heights High in Ohio. He's been regarded as a heavy West Virginia lean since he tweeted out a photo of himself wearing a Mountaineers jersey last month.
Midday recap: SEC still reigns supreme
In order to pass the time until the last major commitments, here are three takeaways from the early Signing Day action:
? The South still reigns supreme: As of 2:30 p.m., seven of Rivals' top 12 classes hailed from the SEC. That total includes teams that have received limited publicity on Wednesday, such as LSU (No. 5) and Georgia (No. 12).
? Jim Mora knows how to recruit: Talented quarterback
? 'Bama will boast a plentiful backfield: Andy Staples
2:02 p.m. -- Touted local linebacker to play for Miami
Grace chose the Hurricanes over USF, Syracuse, Florida State, Kentucky and Tennessee.
According to CaneSport.com, Grace chose Miami because he can "have my friends come see me play and the education [is great]."
Grace added, "Being able to stay home, come home for Sunday dinners and be able to see my friends whenever I wanted, that was a great decision for me."
1:43 p.m. -- In-state defensive tackle chooses Florida State
Bryant chose Florida State over Arkansas, Tennessee, Miami and Purdue. He also visited FAU during this cycle, but was reportedly sent home for not taking the visit seriously.
Vanderdoes denies being committed to Notre Dame
"I'll put my life on it that I have NOT signed one paper yet," he tweeted, followed by "Apparently I am silently committed everywhere." He concluded with "Got these grown men trying to mess up what I've been dreaming of since I was little. Stop it with these sources an (sic) wait 'til 5."
The Placer, Calif., native has had an adventurous recruitment since he decommitted from USC in December. Vanderdoes took official visits to USC, Alabama and Notre Dame within the last month. He took his official visit to UCLA in November.
Most pundits expect Vanderdoes to sign with either Notre Dame or UCLA.
Top defensive ends stage Signing Day surprises
Hall's decommitment was "not unexpected" according to Rivals.com's West Coast analyst Adam Gorney, but it still deals a significant blow to the Huskies' haul. Lupoi is regarded as one of the top young recruiters in the nation, and he doesn't typically lose players who commit.
12:35 p.m. -- Dual-threat quarterback picks UCLA
"Obviously, they have a great coaching staff in Jim Mora and the guys they hired under him," said Woulard, who chose the Bruins over Clemson and Kentucky. "Also, for what I want to accomplish after college, it's a great opportunity for networking."
Woulard indicated that he wants to major in communications.
At 6-3 and 205 pounds, Woulard from is the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. The Winter Park, Fla., product is the 141st-ranked prospect in the Rivals250.
12:20 p.m. -- Linebacker Powell picks USC over Florida
A 6-foot, 190-pounder out of Daytona Beach, Fla., Powell is the 190th-ranked prospect in the Rivals250. He is rated as the 15th-best outside linebacker in the country.
12:06 p.m. -- Star lineman Liner signs with Alabama
A longtime Auburn pledge, Liner decommitted following Gene Chizik's ouster in November. He compiled 79 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and four sacks as a senior, and he'll enter a Crimson Tide system that has an established tradition of churning out NFL-caliber defenders.
More than anything else, this announcement signals more of the same: On Signing Day, Nick Saban gets what he wants.
Collins rethinking his Arkansas commitment?
11:53 a.m. -- Robinson brothers still flying with Oregon
Both San Diego natives explored other options, including USC, Ohio State and Washington. Both stuck with new coach Mark Helfrich and the Ducks. Tyree cleared up any speculation with his signature.
"I just got to my school, and I am getting ready to go inside and sign," he said. "I am going to sign with Oregon and will send them the fax right after I sign it."
Ole Miss securing historic Signing Day haul
Tunsil is widely considered the best offensive lineman in the nation. In an interview with SI last month, Rivals.com's Southeast analyst Kynon Codrington said that he's convinced Tunsil will succeed at the next level. "Tunsil has the footwork, agility and lateral ability to be a premier left tackle," Codrington told SI. "He moves like a tight end and has prototypical size to anchor the blind side. If he continues to progress, I feel he will be an All-America player and NFL starter."
Not initially considered an Ole Miss target, Tunsil visited Oxford last month and was apparently blown away by recruiting coordinator Chris Kiffin. Like Tunsil, Golson chose Ole Miss over more traditional regional powers (in his case, Florida State). The linemen may need a year before they can anchor the trenches for the Rebels, but it's still a bounty for offensive line coach Matt Luke.
Conner, meanwhile, is a local product from South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) High. With his hometown only 26 miles away, Conner opted to stay put and become the sixth player among the nation's top 150 recruits to join the Rebels.
Ole Miss isn't merely stockpiling elite talent; coach Hugh Freeze has established some nice balance in the class. Of those six players, two are offensive linemen (Tunsil and Golson), one is a receiver (Laquon Treadwell), one is a running back (Mark Dodson Jr.), one is a defensive lineman (Nkemdiche) and one is a defensive back (Conner).
11:17 a.m. -- Alexander twins split up
Mackensie was a four-star cornerback and U.S. Army All-American. Mackenro was a three-star prospect as a linebacker in high school, but he projects to play safety at Auburn.
Last week, Mackenro said teams who thought they could jump in on him late to secure his brother were not going to succeed.
"I'm going to just stay true to me and to the teams that have been on me since the start, even when I was going through some troubles and some things," Mackenro said.
"Wherever I go, I'm going to make them love me. I'm going to make so many plays, and I'll be deadly out there."
11:13 a.m. -- Four-star wide receiver picks Miami
Coley is the 13th-ranked wide receiver in nation.
11:05 a.m. -- Maryland signs prized linebacker Ngakoue
Friendship Collegiate Academy linebacker
Receiver Stefon Diggs made 54 catches for 848 yards and six touchdowns as a true freshman in 2012. Ngakoue will look to make an equivalent early impact in College Park, Md.
Auburn among early Signing Day winners
Help is on the way. Though new coach Gus Malzahn boasts a reputation as an offensive guru, he secured two desperately needed defensive line prospects in
Auburn recruiting was reeling following the decommitments of
Malzahn's squad still has a long way to go, but its success on Wednesday is certainly a good start. By adding Adams and Daniel to the fold -- and possibly its quarterback of the future in
10:32 a.m. -- Top receiver Cunningham elects to Anchor Down
Cunningham is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound target, and he said he chose Vanderbilt because of its combination of academics and athletics.
10:16 a.m. -- Five-star Jones sticks with Mississippi State
A Houston, Miss., product, Jones went largely unnoticed for much of the cycle. He shot up the recruiting rankings after an impressive senior campaign.
In today's recruiting world, Jones is something of an anomaly. He flew under the radar despite his immense size and potential, and he didn't really burst into the national spotlight until he stole the show at the Under Armour All-America Game. Part of that is a byproduct of his move from Nettleton, Miss., to Houston, Miss., before his junior year. By transferring, he nearly fell off the map.
Yet if his senior stats at Houston High are any indication, it's no wonder why he became such a hot target. He amassed 160 tackles, 45 tackles for loss and 14 sacks as a senior and could quickly develop into the centerpiece of Mississippi State's defense.
10:14 a.m. -- Bell spurns Tennessee for Ohio State
"Coach Meyer is my boy, man," Bell said. "He is really a player's coach kind of guy. He's real close to his players, just seeing how their life is and helping them with any problems. He is always behind them and showing that he cares for them. He did the same thing at Florida; he always has a friendship with his players like later on down the road."
By signing Bell, Meyer, who is coming off an undefeated season in Columbus, may have locked up the No. 2 spot in the Rivals' team rankings.
Two days after flipping star DeSoto (Texas) High running back
This was a significant victory for Meyer. While Rossville isn't as far from Ohio State as it may seem (466 miles), SEC programs typically have a stronghold on the top players from the Peach State. And though Florida, Texas and California are considered the most talent-rich states, Georgia featured a tremendous group in the class of 2013, including four five-star players. Eight of the top 10 prospects from the state committed to SEC schools. The other two (Bell and
Before Bell announced his commitment, Meyer indicated on ESPN that there was one player the Buckeyes "were waiting on," and that their class was otherwise complete. By finishing his class with one of the best defensive backs in the nation, Meyer has again pulled off a stellar recruiting effort.
9:57 a.m. -- Five-star Adams signs with Auburn
A star at Dooly County High in Vienna, Ga., Adams was considered an Auburn lean for much of the process. But given the coaching turnover following Gene Chizik's ouster, it was widely speculated he could end up elsewhere.
Adams becomes Auburn's second major commitment of the morning. The program also signed
9:41 a.m. -- Tennessee flips a heralded quarterback
Standing at 6-3 and 190 pounds, Dobbs is the 20th-ranked pro-style quarterback in the nation. He had been committed to Arizona State since the middle of June.
Early stock watch: Florida State, Arkansas up; Miami down
Thomas committed to Florida State and Kirkland picked Arkansas in separate announcements on Wednesday. Thomas, a five-star linebacker, is the second top-flight commit to choose Jimbo Fisher's squad in recent days; Rivals.com
Landing Thomas is a huge moment for a team that lost six coaches in the offseason, including defensive coordinator Mark Stoops and linebackers coach Greg Hudson. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has made an enormous splash by landing Thomas and Ramsey, two players who are expected to become stars in Tallahassee.
Kirkland's commitment to Arkansas is equally devastating for Golden, as it's the second stunner to hit the Miami recruiting scene in two days. South Plantation, Fla., running back
These commitments could have long-term implications for new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. The fiery head coach essentially stole two of the region's best players from a school that places a premium on retaining its local talent. While Al Golden may have once envisioned the massive Kirkland (6-5, 333 pounds) paving the way for Collins, the Miami natives will be doing it Fayetteville instead.
9:32 a.m. -- Arkansas benefits from Signing Day surprise
The Miami native and Booker T. Washington High standout elected not to give his pledge. Then he spurned the 'Canes by committing to Arkansas.
The 166th-ranked player in the class of 2013 is a big addition for Bielema. Kirkland's decision was aided largely by the relationship between Razorbacks assistant Randy Shannon and high school coach Tim "Ice" Harris.
9:25 a.m. -- Star linebacker Thomas commits to Florida State
Thomas, the No. 15 overall player in this year's Rivals100, signed with Florida State over Miami on Wednesday morning. A tall, rangy linebacker, he becomes the first five-star -- and the crown jewel -- in Jimbo Fisher's class.
9:11 a.m. -- Touted offensive tackle Tunsil heads to Ole Miss
Many, including Georgia pledge
"I was really shocked," Kublanow said. "Me and him have a pretty good relationship and I've pretty much talked with him a ton this past couple of months, and he seemed locked into coming here [to UGA]."
9:03 a.m. -- Florida locks up four-star defensive tackle
A Port St. Lucie, Fla., native, Bostwick chose the Gators over Miami -- one of several prospects to do so in this cycle. The 'Canes have particularly struggled to land players to fill out their front seven.
7:48 a.m. -- No. 1 recruit Nkemdiche signs with Ole Miss
The 6-5, 260-pound end will join his brother, Denzel, on the defensive side of the ball. He is expected to make an immediate impact in Oxford, Miss.
Nkemdiche, who finished his varsity career at Grayson High with 43 sacks, should immediately contribute to a defense that tallied 38 sacks last season, the second-most in the SEC. He'll team up with his brother, Denzel, a second-team All-SEC selection who registered 82 tackles as a freshman in 2012. And Nkemdiche didn't downplay his early expectations. On ESPNU after his announcement, he said, "I just wanna be a freshman All-American and do some special things."
More pressingly, Nkemdiche's decision could help sew up the commitments of other top 2013 prospects. Five-star offensive tackle
It's worth noting, however, that touted defensive end
7:42 a.m. -- Auburn pulls first Signing Day flip
Daniel is a strongside end from Avon, Ind. He took his final official visit to Auburn during the last visit weekend of the recruiting season.
Welcome to SI.com's National Signing Day blog!
Get ready, everyone. National Signing Day 2013 has finally arrived. Many of the nation's top-ranked prospects are set to announce their college destinations, and the day starts off with a bang: Prized defensive end
We'll be here all day analyzing the latest signings, flips and offbeat declarations, and our partners at Rivals.com will chime in with breaking news as it occurs. For additional coverage throughout the day, be sure to check out our
College football's annual offseason Christmas is here. Let the commitments commence.